Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs Split Squad Day – 03/17/12

Spring Training Game Fifteen: Cubs (SS) (6-8) vs. A’s (SS) (11-3)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN
Location – Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix

Paul Maholm (0-0, 4.50/1.00) vs. Travis Schlichting (1-0, 2.84/0.63)

Spring Training Game Sixteen: Cubs (SS) (6-8) vs. Rangers (SS) (3-9)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Network (Delay) – Radio:
Location – Cashman Field, Las Vegas

Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 3.00/0.50) vs. Derek Holland (1-0, 3.60/1.20)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of the Irishmen at the CCO …

The Cubs have two chances today to end their four-game spring losing streak (four losses in three days) and play the first of back-to-back split squad games this afternoon. Dale Sveum will call the shots with half of his roster in Las Vegas against the Rangers and Jamie Quirk will make the decisions in Phoenix against the Athletics.

For the eighth spring in a row (2005), the Cubs will participate in ‘Big League Weekend‘ at Cashman Field. This year the Cubs play a Rangers split squad team for two games, the other half of Texas’ roster plays Arizona in Surprise today and will travel to Maryvale for a Sunday afternoon game against the Brewers.

Jeff Samardzija gets the start against Derek Holland today in Vegas and Chris Volstad will face Matt Harrison on Sunday.

For the first time since 2005, WGN TV or Comcast SportsNet will not televise either game in Vegas. Len Kasper and Keith Moreland will call the game in Phoenix while the games in Vegas can be seen on … or delayed on MLB Network.

On the injury frontBlake DeWitt, Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney are listed as day-to-day with minor injuries. X-rays on DeWitt’s right hand came back negative.

Today’s exhibition games start with Paul Maholm and Jeff Samardzija

Cubs vs. Athletics – Phoenix Municipal Stadium
Paul Maholm makes his second start of the spring this afternoon against the A’s. Maholm made it through his first outing with better results than he actually pitched. Maholm fell behind early and often but seemed to make a pitch when he needed to against the Reds. Maholm allowed a run on two hits without a walk and one strikeout in two innings.

With Travis Wood’s struggles so far this spring, Paul Maholm may end up being the lone lefty in the rotation when the season begins. Maholm should go at least three innings this afternoon.

Marcos Mateo is on the pitching schedule in Phoenix.

Travis Schlichting will make his first start of the spring today. Schlichting has pitched in three games so far and actually faced the Cubs in the Cactus League opener. Schlichting gave up a run on a hit with a walk and a strikeout in two innings.

Schlichting received a non-roster invite to A’s camp and is pitching to make Oakland’s Opening Day roster.

The 28-year old right-hander has allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Cubs vs. Rangers – Cashman Field
After a tremendous first start against the Royals in Surprise on March 7, Jeff Samardzija struggled in the first inning of his last outing and allowed two runs on two hits before tossing two innings of shutout ball.

Samardzija has allowed two runs on three hits in two games, one start this spring … but more importantly, Samardzija has not issued a walk while striking out six and hitting a batter in six innings of work.

James Russell, Trever Miller and Scott Maine are on the pitching schedule in Las Vegas.

Derek Holland figures to take the ball for the Rangers on Opening Day with the departure of C.J. Wilson. ‘The Dutch Oven‘ is coming off a breakout season and makes his third start of the spring this afternoon.

Holland has allowed two runs on six hits without a walk and five strikeouts in five innings so far in the Cactus League.

The Cubs Bunt Tournament
For those that missed it, the Cubs bunting tournament ended Friday with David DeJesus beating out Casey Coleman in the finals. Coleman topped Paul Maholm to win the pitcher’s bracket and DeJesus defeated Welington Castillo on the position players’ side.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver